Monday, May 14, 2012

Guarding Jess by Shannon Curtis

Title:  Guarding Jess
AuthorShannon Curtis
My Rating: A-

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: McCormack Security Agency #2
Main Characters: Jessica and Noah
Release Date: May 2012
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
Jessica Pennington's work as an etiquette coach requires her to be polite and proper at all times, especially now that she has a book coming out. The only thing that rattles her reserve is the increasingly violent emails and texts from her persistent stalker. With the book launch in jeopardy, she reluctantly hires a bodyguard.

Noah Samuels hates stuck-up, prim people like Jessica. He's more the blunt, straightforward type. But to advance up the ranks at McCormack Security, he has to take the high-profile assignment. After a near miss on his first day on the job, Noah realizes that the stalker isn't just hype cooked up to sell books-the threat is real.

As the stalker escalates from letters to letter bombs, Noah sees a vulnerable side of Jessica that rouses more than just his protective instincts. But can she let down her guard long enough to trust Noah before it's too late?

My Review:
I really like this romantic suspense series from Shannon Curtis. Book #1 was Viper's Kiss (you can see my review of it HERE), but this book as the second book in the series, works perfectly well as a stand-alone book. On the surface, Jessica and Noah have nothing in common, but they actually are more alike than it would seem. Noah came from money/society and abandoned that world. Jessica did not come from money/society, but has learned to fit in there. They both are very protective of their place in the world because of the hurt they have suffered to get there. As a result, they are often times judging each other more harshly than warranted.

Jessica grew up on a farm where she was allowed total freedom. When her parents died suddenly, she was thrown into her Aunt's high society world where she was shunned because she didn't know how to behave. Obviously, that hurt...a lot, and she started her etiquette business as a way to help keep other people from suffering that same humiliation. Her entire goal in life is to make sure that people feel comfortable in any surrounding. In other words...she is an incredibly nice person who doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. To have a stalker who is threatening and vicious about their very personal attacks is a huge blow to Jessica's mental well-balance.

Noah grew up in polite society, but withdrew from that world when a woman and his father betrayed him. He didn't realize it at the time, but the woman was very shallow. She was all about her image and ways to improve it and he was incredibly hurt because of that. When he is assigned to Jessica, he immediately sees her as another society doll only out there to improve her own personal status. It takes a while for him to see past that pre-conceived notion about her. His attitude adjustment happened slowly over the course of the novel and I liked that gradual change.

This is an action packed novel with a lot of high suspense. I had some suspicions fairly early on about who the stalker was, but Shannon wound the story around very well so that it truly could have been anyone in a handful of suspects. There is another character in the story, Drew, who is another agent brought in to help Noah. I LOVED what his character added to the story especially in the few chapters where the story was being told from his point of funny. I am really hoping we get his story soon. He's going to have a fun story when he falls because he is SUCH a player!

This was a great book and I look forward to more from this series!

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